Tag Archives: Cabo Verde

The First Captain of Sport Lisboa e Benfica was a CaboVerdeano

In the kingdom of Morocco in 1825 a young Jewish boy by the name of Fortunato Levy was born, he would later marry a young woman by the name of Victoria. The records are silent of the year of her birth, but it is known that she was also born in Morocco. The two would later emigrate to Portugal and settle in Faro, while in Faro a son would be born to Fortunato and Victoria Levy and he is named Bento.

Bento Levy was born on November 11th, 1851 in Lagos, Faro, Portugal.  Around 1869 at the age of 18, Bento Levy will emigrate to the then colony of Cabo Verde and establishes himself on the island of Santiago. Ten years later, Bento Levy is baptized on July 7th, 1879 at São Nicolau Tolentino, São Domingos, Cabo Verde. He will later marry the daughter of Paulo José Monteiro dos Mosquitos de Santa Maria and Josefa Rodrigues de Carvalho both from the island of Santiago, their daughter was Paula Conceição Monteiro.

Bento and Paula Levy will have 5 sons and there names were José Monteiro Levy [b. 1.14.1877], Álvaro Monteiro Levy, Fortunato Monteiro Levy [b. 4.21.1888 – d. 12.31.1969], Simão Monteiro Levy, and Jayme Monteiro Levy [b. 7.2.1982]. All 5 sons were born in São Lourenço dos Órgãos, Santiago, Cabo Verde. All 5 sons will have some impact in the future development of Cabo Verde, but the one that we will be focusing on is Fortunato Monteiro Levy.

By 1903, we find Fortunato M. Levy studying Business Administration at the Escola Académica located in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded in 1847, the Escola Académica was active until 1976, the year that the doors were permanently closed. There were almost 130 years of prestigious formative training offered during the lifetime of this institution.

Fencing Lesson from Professor Câmara Leme. Escola Académica, September 1903. Source: Tiro Civil, nº 267, of September 15, 1903.

In the picture above the two students appear before the camera in an attitude of great aesthetic beauty. They would certainly be the most outstanding of this class, displaying their virtuosity to their colleagues and reporters.

Now, if we look more closely at the photograph we see that the student who is ready to make touché is one of our acquaintances. This is Fortunato Monteiro Levy, the Cabo Verdean who would take part on the first team of Sport Lisboa e Benfica on January 1, 1905.

We know that Fortunato was not among the 24 men who officiated the founding of the Sport Lisboa e Benfica club. But he did take part in the trainings with other future players at Salésias in 1903, or months before the very founding of Sport Lisboa e Benfica. He participated in 10 of the 24 training sessions of Sport Lisboa organized by Manuel Gourlade and Daniel Santos Brito from February 28, 1904, the day of the Club’s foundation, until January 1, 1905 [Date of the first official meeting against Campo de Ourique].

On January 1st between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. the team started training and this is the morning of the scheduled day for the club’s debut game.

In the field of Salésias, eight athletes were present: Cândido Rosa Rodrigues , António Rosa Rodrigues, Carlos França, Daniel dos Santos Brito, Eduardo Corga Joaquim Ribeiro, José Cruz Viegas and Manuel Gourlade. It was the last training session of an intense eleven month preparation, involving 29 drills, a very high number in a time in football where you played more than you trained!  Of these eight footballers only three would participate in the first game: António Rosa Rodrigues, Carlos França and José Cruz Viegas.

Later that same day, at noon the game begins and by the end of the game Sport Lisboa e Benfica had won their debut match 1-0. Sport Lisboa e Benfica fielded a team with the following players: Pedro Guedes, José Cruz Viegas, Emílio de Carvalho, Fortunato Levy, César de Melo, António Couto, António Rosa Rodrigues, Silvestre Silva, Raul Empis, José Rosa Rodrigues and Carlos França.

Team from the season of 1904/05, in reality the picture dates from the last game of the season (June 29, 1905): From left to right. From top to bottom. Defensive midfielder José Cruz Viegas (right-back), Manuel Mora (goalkeeper), Fortunato Levy (right-back), Albano dos Santos (center midfielder) ), António Couto (left half defense) and Emílio de Carvalho (left defender); In the front, the line of five forwards, from the right-hand to the left-hand side: António Rosa Rodrigues, Silvestre da Silva, Cândido Rosa Rodrigues, José Rosa Rodrigues and Carlos França

Fortunato Levy played as a Defensive Right Midfielder, he showed great promise and had an amazing development and eventually making his debut as a professional footballer [soccer player] at the age of 16.

Sport de Lisboa e Benfica. Circled is Fortunato Monteiro Levy.

Fortunato Monteiro Levy, was also the first cyclist of the Sport Lisboa e Benfica, having debuted on June 11, 1906 in a 1000m race in Palhavã, coming in second place. Still on the same day he finished third in another event, in the process winning the first two trophies in the Club’s history.

We now know that Fortunato Monteiro Levy spent at least  4 years in the capital of Portugal. Between the ages of 15 and 19. By April of 1907, he has returned to the city of Praia, on the island of Santiago in Cabo Verde. He was in Lisbon only during a small window of his long life. A passage that was decisive for his future professional and social life. He acquired knowledge and values that would essential for his success in his homeland.

Once he was back in Santiago, Fortunato put to good use what he had learned at the Escola Académica in the commercial house of Levy & Irmãos founded by his father. There he dedicated to family business and eventually reaching the position of prominence in business and in social associations throughout Cabo Verde.

Six years after his return to Cabo Verde, Fortunato Monteiro Levy in February of 1913 is appointed the Administrator of the Municipality of Praia.

from the newspaper “O Independente” nº 30 from 02.27.1913 -“Nomeação. O nosso prezado amigo, sr. Fortunato Levy, foi nomeado administrador do concelho da Praia. As nossas felicitações.” -English: “Appointment. Our dear friend, Mr. Fortunato Levy, has been appointed administrator of the municipality of Praia.

On February 19, 1914 in the city of São Filipe, Fogo Fortunato Monteiro Levy marries a young lady by the name of Maria Júlia de Medeiros Gomes Barbosa [b. 11.12.1887-d. 2.7.1966]. She was the daughter of António Gomes Barbosa [b. 5.26.1862-d. 1966] and Ana Roiz Barbosa [b. 9.14.1861 d. ???]. On December 29th, 1915 in the capital city of Praia a son is born to Fortunato and Maria Levy and he is named Orlando Barbosa Levy. Fortunato Monteiro Levy would also have a daughter by the name of Tinita Vieira de Andrade, but the name of the mother is not known to me.

Fortunato Monteiro Levy also belonged to a few commercial associations. On the 3rd of November 1918 in Praia, he was elected Secretary of  Associação Comercial e Agrícola. By 1944, He also belonged to the Associação Comercial de Sotavento with other elite businessmen such as Solomão Benoliel, António M. Sousa Lobo, Carlos Pinto Wahnon, Abilio Monteiro de Macedo and many others.

On December 31st, 1969 in the city of Praia, Fortunato Monteiro Levy passes away at the age of 81. During our research we were not able to find any official records that stated that Fortunato Monteiro Levy was the first captain of Sport Lisboa e Benfica during their first game of their inaugural season 1904/05. But we game across many blog posts that states that he was voted as the team captain, which in itself is an amazing feat as he was just 16 years old when he made his debut for the team.

Fortunato Monteiro Levy
Fortunato Monteiro Levy as a young man
Maria Júlia de Medeiros Gomes Barbosa (1887-1966), Wife of Fortunato Monteiro Levy
Orlando Barbosa Levy [1915- ], Son of Fortunato and Maria Levy
Tinita Vieira de Andrade, Daughter of Fortunato Monteiro Levy
(A) announcement of the commercial house “Levy & Irmãos” in the newspaper “O Caboverdiano” from April 1918; (B) List of the governing bodies of the association “Commercial and Agricultural Association” 3 November 1918. Fortunato was elected Secretary of the General Assembly; (C) Obituary notice in the newspaper “O Arquipélago” nº 386 of 01 Jan 1970


Works Cited

Abecassis, José Maria. Genealogia Hebraica: Portugal E Gibraltar: Séculos XVII a XX. Vol. III. Lisboa: J.M. Abecassis, 1991. Print.

Almeida Santos, Luis. Wahnon: Contribution for a Genealogy – Contributo Para Uma Genealogia. Charleston, SC, USA: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2011. Print.

Barbosa, Antero J. Famílias Da Ilha Do Fogo (Portuguese Edition). San Bernadino, CA, USA: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2014. Print.

“Benfica História I – 1904-1916 (Fundação Do Glorioso E Primeiros Titulos).” Benfica HD. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 30 Dec. 2016. <https://benficahd.blogspot.com/2010/02/benfica-historia-i-1904-1916-fundacao.html>.

Correia, Claudia. Presença De Judeus Em Cabo Verde: Inventariação Na Documentação Do Arquivo Histórico Nacional (1840-1927). Praia (Cape Verde): Arquivo Historico Nacional, 1998. Print.

Correia, Cláudia. A Questão Do Cemitério Israelita Na Ilha Da BoaVista [1915/1923]. N.p.: Fundação Eng. António De Almeida, 1999. Print. Africana Studia N.2.

“Decifrando Imagens Do Passado – Page 27 – Memórias – SerBenfiquista.com – Fórum De Adeptos Do Sport Lisboa E Benfica.” Decifrando Imagens Do Passado – Page 27 – Memórias – SerBenfiquista.com – Fórum De Adeptos Do Sport Lisboa E Benfica. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016. <http://serbenfiquista.com/forum/index.php?topic=53816.390>.

“Fortunato Levy.” Serbenfiquista.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <http://serbenfiquista.com/jogador/fortunato-levy>.

“Fortunato Monteiro LEVY, ®.” Fortunato Monteiro LEVY, ®. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <http://www.barrosbrito.com/7976.html>.

Oliveira, Mario Fernando De., Carlos Rebelo Da. Silva, and Ribeiro Dos. Reis. Historia Do Sport Lisboa E Benfica, 1904-1954. Lisboa: “Os Ridiculos”, 1954. Print.

“Um Minuto De Silêncio.” Em Defesa Do Benfica. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016. <http://em-defesa-do-benfica.blogspot.com/2015/01/um-minuto-de-silencio.html>.

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca: Inventor, Politician, Musician, Scholar and Military leader

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca 1863-1942
General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca 1863-1942

When we think of Cabo Verdean military leaders or commanders we seem to not get passed Amilcar Cabral, Pedro Pires, Aristides Perreira and some of the other leaders of the Independence movement. But there were a handful of pre-indepence era military men and one of them was General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca.

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca baptismal record
General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca’s baptismal record, second entry on the left hand side.

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca was born on December 13, 1863, a native of Curral do Coculi in the Parish of Santo Crucifixo, on the Island of Santo Antão to Manoel Gomes da Fonseca and Julia Juanna Fortes. At the age of seven Viriato Gomes da Fonseca move from Santo Antão to the capital of the Portuguese Empire.  In 1897, After completing his studies at the War College the young lieutenant Viriato returns to Cape Verde with the fixed aim to help in the development of the islands. Viriato was blessed with extraordinary speaking skills and communication skills, he was also very charismatic.

In 1907, he was appointed commander of a battery in an expeditionary mission to Guinea. he fought, at the time, in what was called  the ‘pacification wars’ against the indigenous peoples in the struggle against the Portuguese presence in that territory.

After returning to Lisbon, Viriato was promoted to Major. Back in Cape Verde, Major Viriato Gomes da Fonseca was given the position  of Director of Public Works and Head of Surveying.

Connecting the water supply to the village of Ponta do Sol, the study of the Levadas [an irrigation channel or aqueduct]  and  a topographical survey of the Concelho do Paul, are the most essential works completed by Viriato Gomes da Fonseca on the island of Santo Antão. He also surveyed Montado Real on the Island of Fogo and also had plans for the port on the island of Brava.

Viriato Gomes da Fonseca was also Military Commander of São Vicente, Director of the Municipality of the island of Santo Antão, December 1910 to November 1912 and during the same period, he served also as President of the Municipal Commission of that island.

By 1919, the people of the islands recognized his expertise in the works carried out by Viriato Gomes da Fonseca and they were aware of his great patriotism and love for the homeland, the people entrusted him with the task of representing the Province of Cabo Verde in Parliament. this is how he entered politics and became what today we would call a congressman for the Partido Republicano Português (PRP), from 1919 to 1922 and for the Partido Republicano Constituinte, from  1922 to 1925.

At 63, he was promoted to general and provided services at the Institute Geagráfico and Cadastral, with several studies of his own on the registration of land ownership published by the institute and the Military Magazine. General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca was the only black man who attained the Portuguese army rank of general and probably of any other European army.

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca was offered the position of Governor General of Angola, but the general turned down the position. He preferred waiting for the position of Governor General of Cabo Verde but that position never came to fruition.

From his marriage to Cesaria da Conceição Machado Fonseca, born in Lisbon, were born ten children: Viriato, Manuel Augusto, John, Julia, Emma, Celisa, Peter, Lucete and Alberto.

General Viriato da Fonseca and his wife Cesária da Conceição da Fonseca
General Viriato da Fonseca and his wife Cesária da Conceição da Fonseca

General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca  died on February 26, 1942, at his residence,  at the Villa Cesaria in Paco de Arcos, Portugal.

Some awards and commendations won by General Viriato Gomes da Fonseca are:

Comendador da Ordem de Nossa Senhora de Vila Viçosa; Medalha Militar de Prata da Rainha D. Amélia; Medalha dos Serviços Distintos no Ultramar; Comendador da Ordem Militar de São Vicente de Aviz; Medalha de Ouro da Classe de Comportamento Exemplar; Cavaleiro da Ordem Militar de Santiago de Espada e Grã Cruz da Ordem Militar de São Bento de Aviz.




Faria, Luis António, Suzana Abreu, and Américo C. Araújo. Cabo Verde Terra de Morabeza: Uma Viagem Atraves de Sua Historia e Cultura. Valrico: LAF Enterprises, 2012.

Family Search – “República de Cabo Verde, Registros Paroquiais, 1787-1957,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-45229-15-83?cc=2246703&wc=SFVV-PT5:1396419303,1396421001,1396429323 : accessed 19 February 2015), Santo Antão > Santo Crucifixo > Batismos 1856-1864 > image 114 of 123; Arquivo Nacional de Cabo Verde, Praia, Ilha de Santiago [Cape Verde National Archives, Praia, Ilha de Santiago].

Esquina do Tempo: Magazine Cultural Online – http://brito-semedo.blogs.sapo.cv/158836.html